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Old February 26, 2005, 06:25 PM   #1
Metellus
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Airsoft for training? Yay or nay?

www.airsoftcqb.com

This airsoft range is near me. Although fun I'm not sure if airsoft is useful for training. Does it create more bad habits than good? (Paintball for example causes lots of bad habits) Anybody with experience in airsoft and firearms?

I was struck at how little most airsofters know about real guns. The majority of the people in there who I met and had lots of airsoft guns had very little experience with real firearms even the older people there. Just to toy with them I'd point to thier various rifles and handgun replicas and ask them what various levers and buttons do on real guns. Some answers were hilarious.

For example the takedown button that you push down on the frame of a glock to remove the slide. Nobody except the store owner in there knew what it was for on a real gun even though they all owned a replica. Another is the cocking handle for an M16.

One advantage I see in airsoft over paintball in terms of training is that airsoft guns are close replicas of firearms so all your real tactical equipment should work with these replicas. Also, paintballs are expensive but the bbs are super cheap. But actual training on recoiless replicas seems somewhat dubious. Like training in martial arts with heavy padding.

That being said I have my eye on the HK G36 airsoft rifle by Classic Army.
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Old February 26, 2005, 06:32 PM   #2
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If you set up a good regiment and are realistic about what you can or cannot accomplish, they'd make an excellent training tool.
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Old February 26, 2005, 06:33 PM   #3
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Just Wondering...

How exactly is Paintball bad?
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Old February 26, 2005, 06:38 PM   #4
WillBrayjr
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Paintball is very bad training, nothing more than pray and spray. There is a wide selection of real airsoft guns(not junky springers) at www.airsoftextreme.com
Airsoft guns are excellent training tools because the mimic their real life counterparts almost exactly in operation. They are also 1:1 scale!
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Old February 26, 2005, 07:01 PM   #5
Rob Pincus
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Paintball, airsoft, simunitions, etc (or live fire for that matter) are all only as good a training tool as your integrity and creativity alow.

Paintball itself is not good or bad, just like guns are not good or bad... it is how you use the equipment and range that you are on that matter.
If you are training tactics and response to threat, weapons handling differences between paintball and real guns might not matter. If you are training malfunction drills, airsoft guns are not realistic enough to completely simulate the real deal. UTM and Simunitions allow exact recreation of weapons handling and threat response, but are not available to everyone.

Be safe.

Train Realisticaly.

Use props and gear to enhance your ability to respond effectively to a real attack in a real situation in the real world and you can't go wrong.
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Old February 26, 2005, 07:07 PM   #6
wudjalike2no
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it depends on the style of paintball you play.speedball is not training, it is a sport. i like paintball better than airsoft but airsoft is a more realistic mil-sim
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Old February 26, 2005, 08:39 PM   #7
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Paintball is a poor simulator for combat with guns. The hopper carries 200 rounds. Thats more ammo than you could possibly have in one mag (even if you had a beta-c mag on your pistol. You don't aim with your gun, you aim machine gun style (watch your shots). You shoot much faster, and there is not any subsantial recoil. The markers are large, and the weight is not distributed in the same way. Theydo not operate in the same way. (I played tournament paintball when I was in High School for about 3 years.) It is, however great training for your heart, and your body, if you play speedball, because you are constantly moving, under pressure, and it is a stop and go activity. I was in the best shape of my life when I was playing, since it helped me drop 70 pounds. I have never done airsoft, but I would imagine it would be a better simulation of the way you would operate in a gunfight.
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Old February 26, 2005, 09:43 PM   #8
chris in va
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IMO paintball *used* to be fun until everyone started slapping on e-blades or using high ROF markers for normal woodsball. After taking up firearms, paintball (as it stands now) seems rather childish and pointless.

Now the good ol' days of paintball just had pump guns which made you THINK where you had to be to get the other guy. Cover was essential. Sneak was key. Not anymore.

I'll try it again in the spring a couple times, but won't expect to be impressed.
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Old February 27, 2005, 02:05 AM   #9
fed168
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I personally like simunitions after they have been in the freezer for a few hours.

Alot of it goes to how you want to run a training session.
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Old February 27, 2005, 02:50 PM   #10
Rob Pincus
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abelew,

Don't limit yourself by what the masses are doing... you don't have to load 200 balls into the hopper... load one for each opponent, Bobby Dukes style.
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Old February 28, 2005, 06:52 PM   #11
abelew
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It wasn't that I was doing what everyone else was doing, I played amateur speedball. I regularly went onto the field with 500 or more rounds, and used them all in some games. All I was getting at was that they dynamics of the game and impliments used are not near as close as air-soft is. Paintball is fun, no doubt, but if you want to practice tactical operations, air-soft is the way to go
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Old March 1, 2005, 10:45 PM   #12
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Cooltastic

Im an airsoft player, and I can tell you that I think Airsoft is just about the best training you can get outside of Simmunitions...The detail on some of the advance guns (Some Tokyo Mauri rifles and Western Arms pistols) are so fantastic that ive confused amateurs with them on accident, and at close range there is very little difference between the accuracy when compared to standard weapons.

But be careful, guys...Ive read of quite a few officers accidentally getting killed when live weapons were introduced accidentally in with the training weapons.
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Old March 1, 2005, 10:47 PM   #13
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Thats why most airsoft guns have orange on the muzzle.
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Old March 1, 2005, 11:13 PM   #14
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Yep.

My rifle and pistol do not, however. I keep orange tape on the end, so I dont get shot, and I only take it off for photoshoots.
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Old March 3, 2005, 12:26 AM   #15
Shawn Dodson
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AirSoft for training. You bet. But it's gotta be done right. Before you start any AirSoft training on your own, I suggest, at a minimum, you study the book "Training at the Speed of Life" by Ken Murray. You can get it at http://www.armiger.net/

AirSoft can be used in two ways: 1) reality based training, and 2) development and proofing of gunfighting tactics. Properly structured reality based training, using AirSoft, provides valuable "been there, done that" live target engagement experience that cannot be obtained any other way short of an actual gunfight.
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Old March 9, 2005, 05:31 PM   #16
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paintball can be as good a training method as you want it to be. In high school, my friends and i started playing paintball regularly. they all had the nice guns with hundreds of rounds and the spray and pray attitude. I had a $4.75 pump gun from kmart with 10 round ammo tubes. even with this disadvantage, I usually came out on top, because i knew my limitations and played them to my advantage, using cover and movement instead of rate of fire. I played my games with 20 to 30 rounds, while my friends would easily shoot 500 in a game. i feel that itwas pretty good training.
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Old March 11, 2005, 02:04 PM   #17
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I've never trained with Airsoft personally. However, the 2004 speed shooting champion (I forgot his name) is from Japan. He is not allowed to own a gun in Japan so he trained with Airsoft for 11 months then came to the U.S. where he borrowed two guns to compete with. I believe the competition was aired on Shooting Gallery. On one run he shot 5 plates in 1.8 seconds. Apparently it works for him!
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Old March 11, 2005, 02:25 PM   #18
Joe Demko
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Airsoft and paintball both have a severe limitation when it comes to using them as a training aid: they have no penetration. That which would be only concealment when real firearms are in use becomes cover. Since they lack range, it's also easy to form the habit of moving where you know they can see you because you know that you are out of airsoft or paintball range. This happens, though, to be well within firearm range. Admittedly, this last isn't much of a factor on indoor scenarios.
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Old March 11, 2005, 05:24 PM   #19
David DiFabio
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SFWG- that was computer engineer Tatsuya Sakai from Tokyo. Sakai is not allowed to own a real firearm in his home country and trains and competites 11 months out of the year strictly with his airsoft guns, he spends the month prior to the match as a guest at Mickey Fowlers ranch. Seeing him outshoot Leatham, Jarrett, Miculek, and Koenig was very interesting. Only KC Eusebio gave him a close run for the money. Did you see Jarretts side discussion where he said he is very curious about training with airsoft now?
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Old March 11, 2005, 06:13 PM   #20
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It just goes to show you it's more about perfecting the basics (sight picture, breathing, trigger squeeze, etc.) and less about what gun you use.
After training on the basics for 11 months, the only thing Tatsuya Sakai needs to do is spend a month getting used to the particular gun he will be using in competition.
Think back to the Karate Kid movie, it's all about "wax on, wax off". Once you have the movement down it becomes natural in real life scenarios.
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Old March 12, 2005, 12:19 PM   #21
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Yes, I think it's a good idea to train in tactics or develop new ones. Safer than modifying a real gun.
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Old March 12, 2005, 03:41 PM   #22
Metellus
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Hmm

I was thinking of airsoft in the context of tactial firefights not range sports. But that being said I think that's a great idea. Instead of going to the range twice a week I can practice with an airsoft handgun to shoot targets in the house every day. The downfall of dry fire is lack of rapid trigger pulling and you really dont know what you aimed at except seeing the front sight jiggle or not.
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Old March 17, 2005, 05:49 PM   #23
David DiFabio
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As always we all know it does not need to be said but a reminder just for the "heck" of it; make sure of your backstop while target shooting with the airsoft just as if it was one of the real guns. We are all perfect but mistakes do happen.
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Old March 17, 2005, 06:16 PM   #24
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I have one issue when it comes to airsoft as a training tool. The "honor system" works great for recreational games, but doesn't provide much feedback on the all too critical shot placement.
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Old March 17, 2005, 06:30 PM   #25
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It does on paper!
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